Ed O’Neill Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: Things You May Not Know

Believe it or not, Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy) does train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts since the 1980s. Otherwise, many Hollywood actors and celebrities, including  Keanu Reeves, and Demi Lovato, among others, train in BJJ martial arts. So you may wonder why Al Bundy is taking jiu-jitsu for the first time?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a beautiful grappling martial art that is gaining popularity. Otherwise, many people, including Ed O’Neill, have become aware of the numerous benefits of BJJ grappling. It is a great workout that can help you tone your muscles, build strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and lose weight, among other advantages.

Otherwise, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has proven to be more effective in challenging combat sports like mixed martial arts (MMA). In the following sections, we will go over some fascinating facts about Ed O’Neill’s martial arts and BJJ background. Stay tuned for more!

Why Would A Celebrity Choose to Train in BJJ in the First Place?

Source: scotttbarnes

The practice of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an effective way to make a positive difference in their lives. It is a fantastic way to simultaneously strengthen and tone every muscle in the body. Many well-known celebrities use BJJ to achieve excellent core strength, maintain excellent mental health, etc.

Aside from that, BJJ martial arts is an effective self-defense discipline. And it is a good fit for people who don’t want to get bruised up because their jobs and personal lives are on the line if they do.

In this article, you will learn about Ed O’Neill’s jiu-jitsu training journey, his BJJ belt rank, and other exciting details. Keep an eye out for more information!

Who is Ed O’Neill? What is Al Bundy Famous for?

Ed o'neill jiu jitsu

Edward Leonard O’Neill is an American stand-up comedian and actor. He is best known for his roles in popular television shows such as:

  • His portrayal as Al Bundy in Married… Children received two Golden Globe nominations.

  • His part in Modern Family, he got three Primetime Emmy nods and four SAG nominations.

In addition to the Wayne’s World film series, Ed O’Neill has appeared in other films such as Little Giants, Prefontaine, The Bone Collector, Sun Dogs, etc.

Considering His Illustrious Career, When Did Edward O’Neill First Begin Learning the Art of Jiu-Jitsu?

Ed o'neill martial arts

Ed O’Neill is a select group of celebrities addicted to Brazilian jiu-jitsu martial arts.


Edward O’Neill has been practicing jiu-jitsu for over two decades. John Milius, a BJJ student in Torrance, California, introduced him to the Jiu-Jitsu sport. As a result, Al Bundy meets the Gracie Family for the first time. He also met Rorion Gracie, who gave him a free trial lesson, and that was it.

He became utterly addicted to martial arts.

Ed dabbled in boxing as a kid, and he was a reasonably athletic kid who enjoyed sports such as football, handball, and baseball. However, he had no prior knowledge of jiu-jitsu and had no intention of learning it.

In addition to his physical activity as a child and throughout his life, he never had a strong interest in martial arts, which is understandable. Instead, he always connected martial arts with the somewhat artificial combat methods seen in movies: kicking, punching, and screaming.

Moreover, he never placed much stock in it as being legitimate. So, that first BJJ class with Rorion was a bit of an eye-opener for him, to put it mildly.

Ed O’Neill BJJ Rank

ed o'neill bjj

Ed O’Neill is a well-known television actor most recognized for his appearances in Married… with Children and other television shows. Aside from that, He has been training in BJJ under the guidance of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for numerous years.

Amazing! I’m curious! What BJJ belt does Ed O’Neill hold?

The famous Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) is a well-known BJJ black belt under Rorion Gracie and a figure in the martial arts community. He’s one of the few celebrities who has earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Perfect! I’m curious why the black belt is such an outstanding BJJ rank for any practitioner.

Obtaining a black belt is a significant accomplishment for any practitioner. However, about 90% of new practitioners will abandon their training before achieving their black belt ranking. Aside from that, it might require more than eight years of training.

That is to say, a jiu-jitsu black belt is a highly skilled individual who has learned various techniques and has excellent cardio. But on the other hand, BJJ black belts receive an amount of admiration for their commitment to mastering their profession.

Ed O’Neill Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Training

Ed O’Neill began training in jiu-jitsu when he was approximately 42 years old under Rorion Gracie. He’s been having a good time with Rorion for quite some time now. They have a strong bond, almost as if they are brothers.

In addition, he has formed a strong bond with the entire Gracie family, which is a rare accomplishment. Because he had never done anything like this combat sport before, it took him a long time to adapt to BJJ grappling techniques.

Furthermore, the principle gained through this discipline is that you do not have to rely on your strength to win the fight.

It will help if you practice breathing and relaxation techniques, which are vital to master. Unfortunately, at the time, he was entirely out of character in these situations.

Otherwise, when Ed began BJJ, he thought he needed to master everything relatively quickly. Additionally, due to his age, he needs to deal with fatigue and exhaustion as rapidly as possible. However, everything worked out in the end for him due to his efforts.

How Did Ed O’Neill Overcome All Struggles To Stay Consistent with BJJ Training?

Despite his hectic schedule, Ed makes it over to the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu academy at least once a week. Aside from that, he makes it a point to roll with Rorion for approximately an hour during each BJJ session.

Apart from that, he tries to do something new daily, including chin-ups, cycling, rowing, weight training, dumbbell presses, and squats.

Ed O’Neill’s Message to Those Starting BJJ After 40

Ed O’Neill proves you can have a successful martial arts career even if you start BJJ at 40.

It necessitates a small amount of courage, especially if you are unfamiliar with how jiu-jitsu is performed. Others are apprehensive about learning Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu when they’re in their 40s or later because they can’t imagine themselves getting smashed by a teen who’s only 16 years old.

No, not at all!

Do you think you’ll be able to start jiu-jitsu when you’re 40 or older?

You can begin training in jiu-jitsu at any age, even if you are 40 or older, because beginning BJJ at any age will undoubtedly change your life.

For example, Ed O’Neill began training in jiu-jitsu at approximately 42. And he received his black belt several years later. So, consequently, if someone else did it, you can do it.

You should follow these Ed O’Neill recommendations if you want to start your Brazilian Jiu-jitsu journey successfully after 40.

First and foremost, you must ‘check your ego at the door.’

As the expression goes, although it has become somewhat overused. Ed believes you must approach the experience with genuine curiosity and a willingness to learn.

Discover and develop your Brazilian jiu-jitsu knowledge by finding your rhythm while learning and practicing.

Relax and develop the ability to predict what your opponent plans to do before he does it. Of course, being in this state necessitates having a wide variety of BJJ moves, techniques, and transitions.

Do not go overboard with your training.

If you train too much, you risk becoming demotivated and giving up. It’s okay to take a day on and off; you’ll find that it’ll unexpectedly refresh you and that minor injuries will heal more quickly.


Hollywood actor Ed O’Neill (Al Bundy) has been training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since the 1980s under the guidance of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Besides, he is among the few celebrities who earn the BJJ black belt after several years of training.

Obtaining a black belt is a significant accomplishment for any practitioner. But unfortunately, about 90% of new practitioners will abandon their training before achieving their black belt ranking.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Rank in BJJ Does Ed O’Neill Hold?

Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Rorion Gracie, which makes him one of the rare celebrity BJJ black belts.

When Did Ed Oneill Get His Black Belt?

Ed O’Neill earned his BJJ black belt in December 2007 under Rorion Gracie after over two decades of training.